All items: William Blake

When he came to move house, Roy Bainton was faced with the painful necessity of having to get rid of hundreds of well-loved books. But how to decide which should stay and which should go?
A change of place, finding a new muse, pausing on a London bridge, all can stimulate the writer's imagination again, says John Greening. From a sexual potency operation for W.B.Yeats, to Clive James’ terminal illness, there are many ways to trigger inspiration.
Chinua, an Igbo from Nigeria of my father's generation, who wrote Things Fall Apart with its title by an Irishman and its split focus between a pre-colonial West African people and culture and a British colonial administrator; it was, when I read it, the best thing I had ever read.
As an avid reader of poetry, Roy Bainton had always felt it was beyond his capabilities to write it. Then a fortuitous encounter with another RLF writer – and a provocative study of poetry by Stephen Fry – made him think again.
Generally associated with fortune-telling rather than story-telling, the Tarot can be a valuable asset to a writer, argues Diane Samuel, offering a range of archetypes and narrative possibilities which can help unlock the creative impulse.
Stridency, polemicism, ineffectiveness — political poetry is often criticised. Nicholas Murray, defending it, traces the grand tradition of political poetry in the British Isles, and asks if poets who are not political risk being trivial.
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